Changes in Leadership

Ellensburg, Washington (June 30, 2020)In 2020, Court Advocates for Children will celebrate a significant milestone: 35 years of advocacy, educating, and empowering volunteer court-appointed special advocates to advocate for the best interest of the abused and neglected children of Kittitas County. This would not have been possible without the dedication of Executive Director, Carol Pidduck.

After 20 years as a leader in the child advocacy community, Carol has decided that it is time to retire and enjoy the fruits of her labor. The board of directors has temporarily suspended its search for a new executive director and has accepted the recommendation of Carol and the search committee appointing Sandra Bankston as interim Executive Director.

We are very excited that Sandra Bankston has accepted the position as our interim Executive Director. She has devoted her professional life to the program since 2009 and has been a crucial member of CASA’s team; serving as both Deputy Director and Volunteer Coordinator. Sandra has a deep knowledge of the best practices in actively advocating for the abused and neglected children of Kittitas County and is an effective leader and collaborator. She is committed to building upon our proud legacy of providing an advocate for every abused and neglected child referred to our program and working to ensure that our volunteers are empowered to continue their advocacy. We look forward to Sandra leading Court Advocates for Children to new heights.

In addition to a new leader, we welcome Kendra Simpson to our staff in the position of Advocate Coordinator.  Kendra is a recent master’s graduate from Central Washington University in Family and Child Life.  Before accepting this position, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant at Central Washington University teaching multiple courses in Family and Child life, she also served as an intern at DCYFS and in our office. Kendra will be responsible for developing, coordinating, and conducting the training program and supervising volunteer advocates working with abused and neglected children. She will also be responsible for recruiting volunteer advocates.

With the change in leadership and the addition of a new staff member, some of the roles and responsibilities of our current staff members have shifted.

  • Sarah Read, our Development and Communications Coordinator will be responsible for the communication, promotion, and administration of all development activities of Court Advocates for Children, including individual giving, corporate and foundation support, fundraising events, human resources, financial planning, and grants.  Sarah remains the lead on conducting community outreach efforts and responsible for updating and maintaining the website, social media communication, and newsletters; design and produce brochures, advertisements, posters, and any other materials related to the marketing of events; determining developing, and implementing the information technology goals.
  • Jamie Samuelson, also an Advocate Coordinator will be responsible for developing, coordinating, and conducting the training program and supervising volunteer advocates working with abused and neglected children.   In addition, Jamie will manage and oversee case management as it relates to the volunteers, national reports, and archiving.

As Kittitas County continues to grow so does the strong need for best interest advocacy of the abused and neglected children.  Court Advocates for Children is committed to providing trained independent volunteers to promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the justice system of Kittitas County.  We remain focused on our vision of a community that is aware of and committed to the efforts of Court Advocates to secure safe, permanent, and loving homes for abused and neglected children in Kittitas County. 

As ever we are thankful for the continued support of our community, partners, and volunteers that make this program so powerful.  We are making differences in the lives of the children we serve.

About Court Advocates for Children: Court Advocates for Children for Kittitas County is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and abuse and neglected child advocacy program currently serving 149 abused, neglected and/ or abandoned children ages birth to eighteen years in Kittitas County. We provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the justice system of Kittitas County.  We envision a community that is aware of and committed to the efforts of Court Advocates to secure a safe, permanent, and loving home for abused and neglected children in Kittitas County.

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